““Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
Matthew 10:16 NKJV
Periodically, I encounter nonbelievers who seek to “put one over on me”, seek to deceive me, thinking that I am naive and unaware of the motives and operations of the world. The world is full love such people, wolves, seeking to make the unsuspecting prey.
“My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait to shed blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; We shall find all kinds of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil; Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse”—”
Proverbs 1:10-14 NKJV
What the wolves fail to understand, is that most of us who have come to the Lord were once also wolves, but we became sheep by the blood of the Lamb. I use my street smarts as I go into the world to share the message of the Gospel.
In taking the Gospel to the world, we have been given a Helper, the Holy Spirit to guide us. He takes the experiences formed in our sinful lives, and converted them into wisdom, so that we have the understanding to withstand the wiles of the wolves.
I once heard that Israel has such a strong and able military because and equally strong and able military, the German Nazis, sought to eradicate them. They learned from them in surviving.
We who have a been saved, who have been forgiven of sin, have been freed from the consequences of the sin of Adam, who fell when Eve was deceived. The serpent from the garden was wise indeed. We have learned from our lives as sinners, seen in retrospect from the new perspective of being made righteous.
“Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?””
Genesis 3:1 NKJV
But thanks to the intercession of God, Adam were spared eternal damnation, as they had not eaten from the tree of life, which would have sealed them eternally in sin. The Lord pronounce a curse upon the serpent, and provided a remedy for the sin of His creation, as the Son was ordained to die for those sins from the foundation of the world.
“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.””
Genesis 3:15 NKJV
Just as God spared a remnant of Israel from the destruction of the Holocaust, ensuring the rebirth of Israel, God saved His creation from the snare of the evil one, thus ensuring that salvation would come into the world in the fulness of time.
In the period in between, God called His chosen people, liberated them from bondage, escorted them through the wilderness, and brought them the law.
There were under the bondage of the law to show them that they were sinners, as no one could keep it.
“Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Galatians 4:3-5 NKJV
Now, in these perilous times, those who call upon the name of Jesus but be more aware than ever, as the evil one, the great counterfeiter has created a false Gospel, filled churches with false teaching, and has introduced carnality to draw away the saints. It is becoming harder to discern what is of God and what is not.
The wolves are in the pews and the pulpits, offering up tasty morsels of ecclesiastical sweets masquerading as sound biblical teaching.
Brothers and sisters, let us be street smart, using our instincts and experiences, refined by the Holy Spirit, and directed by the Word of God, to help us discern between the evil and the good.
Jesus has sent us as sheep amongst the wolves, let us be as wise as serpents, but harmless as does. Let us not harm those who oppose us. Because of the Holy Spirit, those who walk correctly and dependently have insights into people. Let us use those insights to reach the lost.
Let us remember that wolves can be transformed into sheep. Let us also remember that we were once wolves, and that we can devolve if we do not walk in the Spirit.
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